US agribusiness Cargill digs deeper into its pockets with the recent announcement that - via its venture capital arm - the company is to invest more in emerging technologies in food applications, animal productivity and industrial biobased materials.
Within each of these markets, the company is to target specific areas. For food applications the company will concentrate on technologies that improve processing, or novel ingredients that improve a food's sensory appeal or health profile, including enzymes and processing aids, packaging and delivery systems, foods addressing obesity, diabetes, heart health and diagnostic tools for home use.
In addition, for animal productivity, Cargill will target technologies or systems that increase the yield per animal or promote resistance to disease, for example, digestion and growth performance products, alternatives to antibiotics, functional genomics and gene identification and analysis.
Technologies that transform renewable materials into industrial products by chemical or fermentation processes, and applications of those products in polymers and polymer additives, industrial lubricants, paints, coatings and solvents will be targeted for industrial biobased materials.
"Cargill's expertise in these areas affords us opportunities to add value beyond a monetary investment," said Jim Sayre, president of Cargill Ventures. "During our 137 years, we have become a world leader in turning crops into food, feed and industrial materials. We can leverage our access to global markets, our expertise in new product commercialisation and our track record in building successful businesses to help early-stage companies accelerate their growth."
Cargill's venture, initially focusing on North America, will be to invest in a minority share and to build connections with other investors as well as relevant academic and research networks, added Sayre. "We believe that collaboration promotes innovation, and we look to innovate across a strong network that includes our partners as our portfolio companies."